Saturday, March 11, 2006

Nanny McPhee

It's been an awesome, unforgettable 2 weeks of Sepet/Gubra, and reluctantly, now it's back to the regular schedule of reviews, starting with Nanny McPhee.

Nanny McPhee, based on the Nurse Matilda books, tells the story of the Brown family. Mr Brown (Colin Firth) is a widower who has to single handedly bring up seven children. Make that seven mischievious children who has driven away a record 17 nannies. He needs to work to bring home the bacon, but cannot find a suitable nanny who could stand the children's antics. Until Nanny McPhee (Emma Thompson) turns up mysteriously one day (yes, she did knock), and weaves her brand of wit and magic into the Browns.

It's a simple fairy tale like story meant for kids, with lessons like listening to the adults, behaving, and love. Adding a tad complexity to the plot would be Mr Brown's desperate search for a wife to remarry, so that the family could continue to receive monetary support from their Aunt Adelaide (Angela Lansbury, Murder She Wrote, anyone?) But the storyline gets predictable halfway into the movie, and unless you're a ten year old, you'll probably figure out the plot from then on.

Along similar production styles like recent children-focused tales such as A Series of Unfortunate Events, the production sets are a sight to behold, especially during parts where the CGI, though simple, actually managed to add a touch of grandeur to entire scenes. While Nanny McPhee is the title role, we don't get much of the backstory of this magical nanny, so you'll have to take it at face value on what she's capable of, or read the books.

If children's acting (or lack thereof) get on your nerves, you'll be surprised at the tots' performances, even the littlest one. I thought Thomas Sangster, who plays the eldest son Simon, looked a bit like Freddie Highmore. Possible challenger there. The pacing of the movie is kept even, with comedic situations thrown in aplenty to proabably make you forget about the average storyline.

So if you're in for a movie which is kept really simple, and suitable for a family with small children, then look no further, Nanny McPhee will be the movie of your choice this week.

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